Freeze-fracture cytochemistry: replicas of critical point-dried cells and tissues after fracture-label

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Science  10 Jul 1981:
Vol. 213, Issue 4504, pp. 230-233
DOI: 10.1126/science.7244630


Applications of the new fracture-labeling techniques for the observation of cytochemical labels on platinum-carbon replicas are described. Frozen cells, embedded in a cross-linked protein matrix, and frozen tissues are fractured with a scalpel under liquid nitrogen, thawed, labeled, dehydrated by the critical point drying method, and replicated. This method allows direct, high-resolution, two-dimensional chemical and immunological characterization of the cellular membranes in situ, as well as detection of sites within cross-fractured cytoplasm and extracellular matrix.